Construction of a park began Sunday in Lingui county in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to commemorate the U.S. "Flying Tigers" air squadron who helped the Chinese fight the Japanese in the World War Two.
The park, covering 17 hectares, will be built on the site of the Yangtang airport that hosted American planes during WWII, about 15 kilometers from Guilin City.
The 23.4-million-U.S. dollar park will become an important place for "Flying Tigers" members and relatives of the dead to honor the past friendship. It will also strengthen Sino-American relationship, according to regional tourism department.
Relatives of the "Flying Tigers" members will raise 400,000 U.S. dollar for the project, it said.
The park will include a museum, a monument and replicas of wartime barracks and command post.
The U.S-based Flying Tiger Historical Organization donated some items used by "Flying Tigers" members to the government of Lingui county at the ceremony marking the beginning of the construction.
The American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers by Chinese for their courage, was formed in 1941 under the leadership of U.S. General Claire Lee Chennaults to help China drive out invading Japanese troops.
An estimated 2,264 U.S. "Flying Tigers" members and more than 900 Chinese airmen who fought along with them died in the war.
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2009)